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SP move for enquiry into poor working conditions at budget airlines wins support of Parliament

22 Dec 2016

SP move for enquiry into poor working conditions at budget airlines wins support of Parliament

The Dutch national Parliament has voted to support a proposal from SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling for a thorough enquiry into the working conditions of airlines involved in a price war.

“Cheap airlines such as Ryanair and WizzAir are conducting a price war on the backs of staff and passengers. An enquiry into around seven thousand pilots working in the European Union arrived at shocking conclusions. Pilots at this kind of carrier have to put up with poor safety policies and are expected to fly even if they are too exhausted or sick,” says Smaling.

The dearest seat in a Ryanair plane is usually the pilot’s, which you have to buy for tens of thousands of euros from the company, a sum which you then can’t get back, or barely, from your poverty wages. Cabin personnel are also being crushed by these price fighters. They sometimes have to sit around airports all day, without knowing whether or not there will be any work for them. For this they get €30.

Smaling thinks now that intervention by the government is unavoidable. “We shouldn’t accept exploitation in the Netherlands,” he insists. “If the enquiry is completed in the spring, we’ll have the evidence we need to tackle these airlines. If we don’t draw the line, this sort of practice will become in a few short years the norm in air travel, with all the negative consequences for the future of the Netherlands’ air sector that this will bring with it.”

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